Simmering 'Smoke' Shindig Celebrates Success

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From left to right, Tiffanie Hsu, Beau Van Greener, Alan Heathcock, Conrad Garner, Chris Hunt and Adam Rosenlund.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • From left to right, Tiffanie Hsu, Beau Van Greener, Alan Heathcock, Conrad Garner, Chris Hunt and Adam Rosenlund.

A little more than a month after filmmakers Cody Gittings and Stephen Heleker presented a reading of their screenplay at Hyde Park Books, a film adaptation of Alan Heathcock's short story "Smoke," from his book Volt, is a step closer to reality.

In a party hosted at the swanky Adelmann Building, the filmmakers joined Heathcock and a group of local artists to both update fans on the project's status and celebrate its successful fundraising. Frim Fram 4 filled the ballroom with ambience and visitors sampled finger foods in an adjacent room.

Smoke movie posters created by Boise artists Conrad Garner, Tiffanie Hsu, Erin Ruiz, Adam Rosenlund, Beau Van Greener and Chris Hunt were on display, available for sale to raise additional funds for the film. According to Heathcock, the party had been planned even before a $20,000 Kickstarter campaign proved to be successful.

"Tonight is just for many purposes: One is for, just last week, we reached our goal to make some version of a movie. For all those who have already given, I want to sincerely thank you. It takes a lot to get a movie made and we really want to thank you for your help to do it," Heathcock told the crowd.

The ambitious funding campaign met and exceeded its goal, pulling in $21,220 from 250 backers. Gittings said the event was a chance to connect with backers and update them on the progress of the film.

"It's very much a celebratory event, but also—I think until now, the project has very much existed online in a non-physical way. This was a way for us to bring it to the community. I think it humanizes the cause, in a lot of ways," he said.

Gittings said he and Heleker have planned a meeting with a person key to the casting process: a call to actors in Boise and beyond to find the right talent for the film.

"At the end of the day, whether the person is from Boise or Los Angeles or NYC or from abroad, it comes down to who can provide the best performance, who can really live and breathe that character," he said.

According to Gittings, shooting is planned for the second week of May, with postproduction in June and July. By the end of August, festival deadlines begin to creep up, for which Gittings is confident they'll be ready.